Top critical review
kind of disappointed in this fool's gold addition
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 30, 2015
I really really love Susan Mallery's books and Fool's Gold but I was surprised I just wasn't a big fan of "Hold Me".
Kipling Gilmore is an ex-Olympic skiier who moved to Fool's Gold to join their search and rescue team after a bad accident ended his career. Kipling is a "fixer"--except he doesn't listen to people, and just assumes he's right. The drama with The Man Cave (his new guy's bar) was pretty silly but also why didn't he just listen to the locals and talk to Jo beforehand? That seems like common sense in a small town, anyways...
Destiny is the eldest daughter of two famous country singers who have terrible love-lives. When she was younger she went on tour with her irresponsible parents in a life not really built for a kid, but then moved in with her Grandma in the mountains and loved it. She's decided that she wants a safe, reliable man when she gets married. She's also 100% not interested in sex because "sex is the root of all evil" and causes people to make stupid life decisions. Which, y'know, I think makes sense given her family history. But apparently nobody else in Fool's Gold does?
Destiny also just got custody of her half-sister, Starr, who's a typical 15 year old, who she'd never met until two weeks ago. I felt like the moments with Starr were some of the most realistic in the book. Destiny doesn't know how to handle having her sister around and she's not good at the emotional connection-thing, but you can see the growing love in their relationship and it's nice. But also Kipling's interference in their relationship is weird. He doesn't know Starr or Destiny, really, and he also left home at 16--his decision--so his judgment of the boarding school situation seems really stupid and hypocritical.
Kipling sees Destiny's disinterest in sex as a HUGE problem and assumes it's because she's never had an orgasm and he can definitely resolve that issue and make her want more sex (which is such a dude assumption). When Destiny made it clear that she wasn't interested in sex or a relationship with him, despite thinking him hot, he got really pressure-y which is so not cool. Pressuring someone to have sex is not okay and it made me uncomfortable. Then she gets drunk and they have sex where he finds out that she was a virgin but he doesn't give her an orgasm. She's pretty ambivalent about the whole thing: she's had sex, it wasn't that great, she doesn't need to do it anymore, she's gonna stick to her plan. However, he doesn't accept that and tries to seduce her despite her saying that she doesn't want more sex, so he can give her an orgasm and then be into sex. Which seems like a male ego thing, honestly. And still really bad!! She ends up pregnant after the first time they do it and is shocked for some reason? They didn't use protection and she's not on birth control. Is she seeing the same doctor as Todd Akin?
But blah blah blah they get their Happily Ever After.
There's also this scene where *spoilers*, Kipling sees Starr kiss Carter (Gideon/Felicia's son from Two of a Kind) and starts yelling at them, especially Carter. Which was way out of line, in my opinion. He's only met Starr like 3 times--he's not the parental figure really, they're 15 so it's not like it's unnatural, they weren't having going wild--just one kiss, and also yelling at them was unacceptable.
Other notes: I love Mayor Marsha but the whole her-knowing-everything is beginning to feel like a cheap plot-device. She gave Destiny camp info for Starr before we were even told that Starr existed in Destiny's life. Madeline (from Three Little Words, she works for Isabel) and Shelby (Kipling's sister) were both great. I really adore Carter, he's so awesome. They barely addressed the skiing accident and had very little search and rescue time, which was weird, in my opinion. Those both seemed like big things but ended up being minor. Also the Miles subplot seemed unnecessary and I didn't see why Destiny would be friends/have a brother-like relationship with him given his actions towards her and others.
Overall, I felt like Hold Me was a miss, especially when compared to the rest of the Fool's Gold series. I mean, the whole addressing someone who's uncomfortable with sex and wanting a safe relationship (not quite the same but still) was done SO well with Charlie and Clay in All Summer Long which makes this one seem even more lacking, in my opinion. There were some good aspects to the book but I still had a lack of investment in Destiny and Kipling as a couple, especially because I didn't really like Kipling as a hero.